Confident people are more likely to be successful and enjoy their lives. They inspire confidence in others. Confidence is about believing in yourself and your ability to influence the world around you.
A lot of time and energy is spent on gaining confidence. Much of the work is focused on beliefs and thoughts. It’s important to note your behaviors matter too! The day to day actions and interactions you have can either boost your confidence or destroy it. It’s not just big bold action that is important.
Here are 5 common ways you might be undermining your confidence:
1) Waiting for the other person to speak first.
When you are in a new situation, smile and introduce yourself rather than waiting for someone else to speak to you first. Doing so keeps you from getting lost in your thoughts and feeding any self-doubt. Taking charge of the situation, simply by speaking first, creates positive energy can make others feel good and associate you with the strong positive energy,
2) Shrinking Yourself
You might notice that when you’re feeling intimidated or unsure, you tend to hunch your soldiers, stand out of the way, and avoid bringing attention to yourself. A posture of protection activates your emotional system to be on the alert for danger and fuels anxiety. Go ahead and throw back your shoulders, chin up, and take up space! If you want to learn more about the connection between posture and confidence, Amy Cuddy is a great resource.
3) Failing to Prepare
Confident people prepare for situations. It can be tempting to avoid thinking about something that makes you feel anxious. You might find yourself waiting till the last moment or deciding you have nothing to offer when doing something new, or meeting new people. There is always something you can do to prepare. Do your research, make a plan, and bring something to the situation. It can be as simple as practicing some conversation starters or looking up some publicly available facts about a person or a product.
4) Spending to much time with people that are less successful.
We become like the people around us. If you spend time with people that lack confidence, don’t take action, and are unhappy with their lives, then you will likely began adopting those attitudes. It might feel more comfortable and even confident in the moment, but not in the long run. Take the opportunity when it presents to interact with people that have the confidence and attitudes you desire. Confidence is contagious.
5) Hiding mishaps, mistakes and failures
We’ve all had (multiple) moments when something goes wrong. You spill on your shirt, forget a name, or miss a deadline. Your first urge might be to cover it up and hope no once catches it. But doing so leaves you worrying that someone will notice or catch on. Pretending things are other than they are also leaves you feeling out of integrity with yourself. Own it and move on. You’re more likely to create connection and even admiration by being authentic.
Confidence comes with managing your thoughts, shifting your beliefs, and rewriting old stories. Stepping out side your comfort zone and stretching yourself with new skills and activities are great for building confidence. But attending to your day to day interactions is a key component of living your life with confidence.